Three times Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyer’s asked Judge O’Toole for a change of venue. Twice they went to the Court of Appeals and argued for a change. It is impossible for him to get a fair trial they complained; only in a far off venue would the fairness be ensured.
Then they make their opening and tell us that after all Tsarnaev did commit the act that everyone said he committed. The issue is not longer a “who done it” but should he get fried for doing it. Judge O’Toole rightly made clear that during this first phase of the trial the jury must decided if he committed the crime. It cannot decide otherwise. He has admitted doing it through his lawyers. So what’s the sense of going on with this phase?
More to the point, if he admits to having done it, what is the reason the defense counsel will cross-examine the witnesses who tell about his involvement in the crime. I understand they’ll want to point out that the weapon that killed the young MIT police officer Sean Collier that was given to Dzhokhar could have been used by his dead brother Tamerlan to do the murder and things like that in order to minimize the evilness of the Dzhokhar. But to think that it would be necessary to cross-examine on most matters makes no sense now that he has admitted his involvement in the terrorist act. Furthermore, any act that defense counsel attribute to Tamerlan falls back on Dzhokhar during their joint enterprise.
To think it will take four months to try this case when both parties agree on the outcome shows us a little bit of the foolishness of many of these cases. We’ve seen that his lawyers filed and argued a motion to suppress his statements. What was the purpose in doing that if he was going to admit all along that he set off the bomb? What was the need for more time to prepare a defense that defense counsel kept telling Judge O’Toole that they absolutely had to have if they were going to admit to the crime.
One good thing about this is that all the defense counsel complaints about pre-trial publicity and the inability to get a fair jury are out the window. The issue now will be whether Dzhokhar will do life in prison or get executed. That won’t be decided during this first waste of time; it will be decided at a second hearing later.
By the way this wasn’t four minutes that changed anything as some said, it was months of planning and preparation by Dzhokhar. He’s a vile animal like Jihadi John; a traitor to the country that gave him a chance at a better life; and a beast in American teenager clothes who planted a high explosive in a crowd of innocent people.
He should be described by what he is “a Muslim terrorist” who proclaimed such in his writing on the boat. He’s every much of an “enemy combatant” as those who have been sent to Guantanamo Prison. He too should be there.
We’ve seen what the Muslims like him in ISIS are doing in Syria and Iraq. We’ve had a taste of its spreading philosophy in the murders in Paris and Denmark. It’s not “an extremist group;” it is a bunch of Muslim butchers who proclaim their allegiance to Islam (Islamic State Iraq and Syria) and kill in the name of their religion which they have twisted to satisfy their own sadistic ideas.
The foolishness we’ve gone through leading up to this point with this terrorist will do nothing to deter others from following in his footsteps. When it comes to people who are caught solidly like Dzhokhar we must ship them out to military tribunals for they are committing acts of war against our people; or we must create some other special tribunals designed to speedily try terrorists. Our system of handling criminal cases is not made for people who commit acts of war or terror as this case shows.